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General information about VIVO

What is VIVO?

  • VIVO is an open source, member-supported application that enables the discovery of research and scholarship across disciplines at a particular institution.
  • VIVO is populated with detailed profiles of faculty and researchers including information such as publications, teaching, service, and professional affiliations.
  • VIVO also provides a powerful search functionality for locating people and information within the institution.

What are the key benefits of VIVO?

  • VIVO's underlying database is automatically populated with information from verified sources, thus reducing the need for manual input of data.
  • VIVO users can locate profiles in the system using a variety of search methods, therefore facilitating the discoverability of researchers.
  • VIVO provides a centralized source of personal and professional information that may be utilized in a variety of ways.

How can my institution become a participating member of the VIVO community?

Your institution is free to participate by installing and using VIVO. Download the software from GitHub. You can also get involved with developing applications that provide enhanced search, new collaboration capabilities, grouping, finding and mapping scientists and their work. You can financially support the project by becoming a member of Duraspace.

Please subscribe to one of our mailing lists vivo-all@googlegroups.com vivo-tech@googlegroups.com vivo-community@googlegroups.com  to receive information about the project.

Whom can I contact with questions about the VIVO project?

It is best to post questions to one of our mailing lists:  vivo-tech@googlegroups.com or vivo-community@googlegroups.com 

VIVO at your institution

How does VIVO obtain profile information?

Profile information is imported in the system from verified sources such as human resources, grant databases, course listings, and faculty activity information. Data may also be entered or customized manually by the individual user or the user's proxy. VIVO then makes this information available for browse and search capabilities as well as export to other web pages and outside sources.

Who are the primary users of VIVO?

Individuals may access the browse and search functionalities of VIVO at any time via the web. Researchers, scholars, students, administrators, funding agencies, donors, and members of the general public may all benefit from utilizing VIVO.

In what situations might VIVO be helpful?

  • Researchers looking for collaborators on large-scale or multidisciplinary grants
  • Funding agencies and donors in search of individuals with specialized skills or expertise
  • Faculty who want to advertise upcoming seminars or courses they are teaching
  • Administrators hoping to showcase faculty or departmental activities
  • Students trying to locate graduate study programs

How does VIVO enhance my research or academic standing?

VIVO facilitates the process of finding research collaborators or sources of specified skills and informaton. The integrated system promotes the kind of cross-disciplinary collaborations that are becoming more vital in the current research environment.

What are the advantages of using VIVO versus other social or research networking tools?

Most of the current networking platforms depend on manual input of information by users while VIVO is automatically populated with data from verified sources. VIVO's data collection methodology uses controlled vocabulary in order to standardize the information and make it easier to locate, retrieve and share. The system provides data in a consistent format that is readable by not only people but other computer applications as well.

VIVO specifications and technical information

How does VIVO work?

VIVO technology is a semantic web application coupled with an ontology editor. It uses the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and supports customizable browsing. Information in VIVO is stored as "triples" of the form subject-predicate-object; for example, John Doe (subject) - is author of (predicate) - "The Effect of Video Games on Kids" (object). With VIVO, you can create and load ontologies, edit relationships, build a public web site to display data, and search it using the built-in search engine.

Is VIVO a system of record?

VIVO is not a system of record although some parts of a user's profile may represent the sole source of particular information such as short bio statements, research interests, or geographic areas of focus.

How does VIVO handle identifiers for researchers?

Please see the VIVO response to a UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) August, 2011 questionnaire looking at the way other countries are building name identifier systems relating to researchers in higher education.  VIVO supports many researcher identifiers and is easily extended to accommodate new ones.  In particular, VIVO supports ORCiD.

Can VIVO interact with other software applications?

VIVO provides multiple means for interacting with other software.  It's data is accessible via content negotiation, and via VIVO APIs.  The data is easily unloaded and reloaded to other triple store.

How does VIVO handle privacy issues?

VIVO profiles will only contain public data pertaining to research and scholarship activities. No sensitive information should be stored in VIVO.